I love college football…even though my favorite Virginia Tech Hokies are not playing at the level they enjoyed several years ago. But as a reader of this blog you might ask, “what do college football and non-compete contracts have in common?” The answer is a lot.
First, let me disclose my bias – I hate non-compete contracts and strongly believe they inhibit opportunities and innovation. With this disclosure out of the way, I just read how a coach’s non-compete contract had a big impact in the SEC. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported that Arkansas Head Coach Bret Bielema was recently contacted by newly appointed Georgia Coach Kirby Smart to inquire about talking to Arkansas offensive coordinator Dan Enos. You see Coach Enos is a hot commodity and has been credited with turning around Arkansas’s offense which averaged 456.8 in total yards per game this season.
Unfortunately, Coach Enos’ contract with Arkansas apparently contains a non-compete provision prohibiting him from leaving Arkansas and coaching at other SEC schools. In Virginia, Coach Enos might have some legal defenses to the enforcement of the non-compete but I don’t know if the law in Arkansas would provide similar defenses. Either way, I bet Coach Enos never gave much thought to that hidden little old non-compete paragraph in his 20 page employment contract before he signed that document.
My Take: Be careful what you sign when you start that great new job. It might just limit your future options.